Transforming the Health of Bamberg, Calhoun and Orangeburg Counties.
The organizers of Tri-County Health Network (TCHN) began its community action planning efforts by conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process in 2012 with results published in 2014. The second CHNA process has been completed and results will be widely distributed in 2017. Through this process the entities involved maintain an understanding of community facts and perceptions about health and quality of life from a variety of stakeholders including those living the experiences with regard to the burden of various priority health conditions. Briefly, the main questions as an objective thread of knowledge through the assessments are the following:
1. What health concerns do residents currently have?
2. What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in our communities impacting health and well-being?
3. What are any emerging health issues in the communities as we look forward?
4. What new or enhanced actions and/or resources are needed to address these concerns?
Organizationally, TCHN has been designated with a 501(c) 3 nonprofit status by the Internal Revenue Service, has established a Board of Directors representing a wide diversity of community sectors and stakeholders, and adopted the following mission and vision statements.
VISION: Through collaborative partnerships we educate our community, maximize resources, improve access and create environments to improve health and promote healthy lifestyles.
MISSION: All partners will collectively work to promote healthy lifestyles and improve access to health care through individual and systems change in the hospital, other health care providers, schools, churches, worksites, governmental and other local organizations and the general communities within the three counties.
TCHN has adopted the following long term goals:
• To decrease complications that result from diabetes and high blood pressure.
• To increase the percentage of adults and children participating in physical activity.
• To increase the percentage of adults and children who eat fruits and vegetables daily.
• To decrease the rate of obesity.
• To sustain a community-wide partnership that focuses on healthy lifestyles.
Currently, there are three committees dedicated to accomplishing these goals: Health Ministry, Chronic Disease and Healthy Eating/Active Living. The success of these committees has been, in large part, due to the involvement of members of the Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun county communities.